Naturally Kaya made an impressive entrance, standing on top of a platform in a regal dress of red velvet. The fans clapped in rhythm for the opening number, “Kaleidoscope,” and Queen Kaya was joined by courtly dancers in costume.
In “Walkure,” the dancers were joined by two more in modern garb, making a fun contrast that fit Kaya’s style, both classic and club. The fun continued with “Epicurean,” everyone waving fans in the air and jumping with the peaks of the music. After the first songs, Kaya warmly greeted his fans, telling everyone to have fun and not to hold back, because he hates when the crowd doesn’t get into it.
The first ballad of the night, “Silvery Dark,” was a simple and heartfelt performance. Then Kaya left, his dancers returning to the stage to strong taiko drum beats, wearing sexy versions of traditional Japanese dress for a dance interlude. When Kaya returned, he was clad in draping kimono-inspired costume as well.
What followed was a medley of songs from the Hyakki Yagyou album, accompanied by fluttering orange-red fans with flowing fabric attached to them, creating a fiery image on the stage. The movement and gesture told a story with the fast-paced music, and before “Kagami Oni” there was another costume change, this time a new variation on Kaya’s wa-style.
When the artist left the stage, fans were treated to a video retrospective of 10 years of Kaya, showcasing clips and images from his solo career and no doubt bringing up many memories for his longtime fans. After another dance break where the dancers showed off Kaya shirts, the queen returned to the stage in a dramatically lit entrance for a gothic set. The crowd pumped their fists and called for Kaya as he showed his dark side in “Carmilla” and “Pourriture noble.”
In his MC, Kaya pointed out what many in the venue had already realized- today he was performing his singles in order of release. He joked that he wanted to wear all his costumes too, but a live involving his impressive wardrobe would take six hours- though the fans called back that they wouldn’t mind.
Kaya then showed a sample of one of the more unique performance styles he does- chanson. He performed “Ai no Sanka,” a chanson well known in Japan, and put his own spin on it, following the a capella opening with an upbeat dance mix.
Next was the popular “Chocolat,” the live house filling with a friendly atmosphere as the dancers returned. Many of the audience members knew the choreography and danced along. The QUEEN medley continued with other crowd-pleasing numbers, finishing with the fans twirling towels for a charming performance of “Transmigration.”
By this time Kaya was up to 2011, and he paused to tell the crowd that performing all the songs made him remember the various people who had helped him in his music along the way. On that note he acknowledged Ken Morioka, the legendary musician who recently passed away, and writer of the next number, “TABOO.” The performance was strong and filled with emotions and the crowd clapped along to the heavy beats.
Kaya finished the set strongly with “Memento Mori,” a song that captures his theme of warm darkness and blends delicate notes with vocal strength. He left to ethereal music, but the crowd quickly called him back. Naturally there was another costume change, this time to his newest outfit, a voluminous black dress with purple accents.
His newest song, “Perfana,” showed that Kaya’s voice wasn’t weakening at all despite the long show, and he only got stronger for the passionate “Rose Jail.” Fans rushed to the front of the stage for the violent and erotic number, sweating and dancing until Kaya left. The crowd still wasn’t satisfied, and continued to call until he returned again.
He introduced his new single, performed in the first encore, and his new outfit, accepting the audiences calls of “Cute!” and “Beautiful!” with a cheeky “I know” before diving into the heavy headbanging of “Addict.” “I’m singing with ten years of love,” he told the crowd, only to be surprised by a show of love back from his dancers and fans as everyone held up light sticks and the dancers brought out a cake. The chandeliers sparkled and Happy Birthday was displayed on the room’s marquee, much to Kaya’s delight. The show finished with tears and smiles with the crowd and artist sharing feelings of love in the upbeat “Glitter Arch.”
Kaya’s retrospective oneman covered the span his impressive career, and with upcoming releases and plans for the future, he shows no sign of slowing down.
TEXT: Kate Havas
【Hyakki Yagyou Medley】
9：Kasha – shining flowers –
10：Chocolat Remix（Dancer solo）
13：Ai no Sanka（acapella）〜Ai no Sanka-Remix-